Last To Die by Arlene Hunt. Read June 2016.

A fast moving thriller that kept me enthralled throughout.

“He watches. He waits. He kills…When Jessie Conway survives a horrific mass high school shooting, in the aftermath she finds herself thrust into the media spotlight, drawing all kinds of attention. But some of it is the wrong kind.”

The main characters in the book are described and developed in such a skilful way that they felt real to me. The villain, Caleb Switch, is one of the most evil and frightening bad guys I’ve come across, and I’ve read a lot of thrillers with a lot of bad guys. In fact on finishing the book I was feeling a little guilty about how much I liked him. Well, maybe liked isn’t the right word but he’s certainly a fascinating character. The rest of the cast of characters are a typical small town America line up but they’re all realistic.

The author’s writing style had me turning the pages quickly, desperate to find out what would happen next. I was slightly distracted by attempts to sound American that didn’t quite come off but mostly it was authentic. The plot structure is clever, drip-feeding the characters’ back stories to keep the reader guessing.

Early on I decided that the book’s style reminded me of Linwood Barclay’s writing and this is no bad thing. I’d recommend Last To Die to Linwood Barclay fans and anyone who enjoys a well-written, cleverly plotted thriller.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy e-book via Netgalley.

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